It’s no longer a secret that Instagram users actively buy fake followers and bots. If ordinary users do it just to brag a large number in the graph “Followers” to their friends, then influencers and bloggers try to increase their worth doing such a foul play. They create an appealing account, get offers of cooperation from brands, take money, and, thus, fool advertisers. The latter, by the way, get nothing from such advertising and just waste their budgets. There is no brand awareness, no sales, no growth.
It’s crucial to run a fake Instagram followers audit of an influencer’s account before agreeing to a collaboration. Doing this, you will prevent yourself from being cheated as well as keep your marketing budget safe and sound. Forewarned is forearmed!
Read further and find out where and how you can do Instagram fake followers check.
What are fake followers on Instagram?
It’s clear from the word “fake” itself that there is nothing authentic in fake followers on Instagram. Let’s break the question down in more detail.
A weakness for buying fakes generated a great demand for them. This led to the fact that several types of dead souls appeared in the vastness of Instagram.
- Instagram Bots
These are empty accounts that are made by special tools and automatically appear on social media. People buy them to create a mass effect. Basically, those Instagram users who want to have 1M followers, or strive for getting a blue tick of approval, invest in buying up bots.
Read more about bots on Instagram in this article.
Fakes are a little bit different from bots but in fact, they perform the same function: cheating.
Such accounts usually have an avatar, someone else’s content (stolen content), a suspicious username (a jumble of letters and numbers), and they are trained to interact: like, comment, reply on Instagram Stories. The thing is that fakes are often hacked accounts of real people.
These are real people, but they start interacting with your account only if you pay them. Basically, we can’t call them fakes. However, based on their actions in exchange for money, they partially are.
To cut a long story short, fake followers on Instagram are those artificial accounts that are either dead weight or robots that do whatever they are programmed to do.
How to audit any Instagram account for fake followers?
There are two main options to run an audit for fake followers on Instagram: manually and/or using special tools. Let’s consider both of them below. The most effective solution is to mix two options: start by running an audit manually, and then dive deeper with the tool.
The only costs for this type of audit are personal time. However, if you know where to look and what to analyze, you will spend no more than 10 minutes.
- Look through the followers
All you need is to have a knack for identifying. Imagine that you are a detective in the pursuit of truth. Scroll down the followers, and clear up how many with suspicious names and/or without avatars follow this or that account. You can also enter any letter, syllable, figure in a search tab, and check the accounts from search results.
Repeat this action several times and check the random accounts. If you often come across empty accounts without content or posts published several years ago, congrats you are likely to have got on the trail of a person who actively buys fakes.
- How many people does this account follow?
This is another thing to pay attention to. Does a person under investigation follow more than 1 thousand accounts? This might be a reason to prick up your ears. On one hand, I don’t deny that he is very sociable and has a lot of friends. On the other hand, this might be just mass following.
- Check likes and comments
Too many likes and comments are as suspicious as too few. First of all, check the quantity and then the quality. Up to 10% of followers actively like posts. On average, this is 2-4%. Regarding the comments, pay attention to their type. If you see some kind of irrelevant and clueless phrases, standard compliments like “woooow”, “so coool”, they are most likely to be artificial. It’s easy to distinguish a fake expression from the one written by the real person, isn’t it?
- What about the likes spread?
Study the last 20-30 posts. Look at the number of likes, and how they were increasing or decreasing. If you have noticed sharp swings (I mean, one post has got 300 likes, and another but similar one just 60), something suspicious is going on. There is a chance that some posts were promoted, and thus they got more interactions. In this case, check who liked the last posts, clicking on the number of likes. Apply the same rule as for checking Instagram followers: the more empty or strange accounts you come across, the higher are chances that the likes are fake.
- Pay attention to the number of video views
While doing a manual fake followers audit, it’s also a good idea to check the number of video views if there are in the account. Basically, the number of video views is 2-3 times more than the number of likes. If you see a large gap between views and likes, for example, 30 000 views but 300 likes, rest assured that fake followers played their roles in this performance.
trendHERO is a top-notch online platform for searching, tracking, and checking Instagram influencers or any other Instagram account. At present, there are over 60 million accounts in the trendHERO database as well as over 90 metrics for account analytics and checks.
One of the main advantages of this tool is that the algorithms for checks are based on machine learning. Using trendHERO, you will be able to successfully audit any Instagram account for fake followers as well as get numerous useful insights.
Please note: sign up and get the check of one account for free.
How to run a fake Instagram followers audit using trendHERO?
- Take a look at the engagement rate (ER)
The number of followers is not a decisive factor anymore. What you should pay attention to is ER. This is a crucial indicator of the success of an Instagram account now. ER shows the ratio of the number of followers to the active actions they take in the account. It’s generally believed that a good ER should be not less than 5% when you have from 1K to 5K followers. While checking, you see that the influencer with 500K followers has 1% ER, he has either bought these followers or creates low-quality content. You can find out more about how to calculate the ER in this article. However, trendHERO will calculate it for you in a matter of seconds.
Look: here is the ER of the account with almost 120K followers. It’s not enough, is it?
- Check the audience
The first thing to look at is the percentage of the quality audience defined by trendHERO. This indicator can clarify a lot at the starting line. For example, 10-20% of the quality audience out of 100% is quite poor.
Then move further and pay attention to the Audience Authenticity. A low percentage is obviously not good.
Look at the Audience Type, and even more will become clear. If you see that most followers are marked as Suspicious or Mass followers, the person behind this account undoubtedly bought fakes.
What’s about the Audience Interests? If real people make up following, their interests should coincide with the theme of the account.
- Pay attention to the Followers and Followings growth charts
The dynamics of followers and following growth is also crucial. In case you have noticed sharp surges in the chart, dig deeper. Here you can also see how many people unfollowed the account for the last 4 weeks. This is also an important indicator. The chart on the right (Following growth) can also tell a lot. If you see that a person starts following other people, and then shortly unfollows them, and repeatedly performs the same action, then most likely he misuses mass following.
- Check likes and comments
There is no doubt that you need to analyze likes and comments. Using trendHERO, you can track the percentage of likes got from followers. If you see that most likes are not from followers, this may suggest that the account’s holder actively participates in Like Times or simply buys interactions. Fluctuations are admissible within a few tens of percent.
There is another great chart in the trendHERO tool: Likes Spread. Again, if you have noticed sharp swings, I mean some posts get a lot of likes when others are completely unpopular, it might also indicate cheating.
Comments by Type diagram shows how many comments the author writes himself, how many comments are marked as real, short, suspicious. If suspicious comments predominate, most likely they are written by fakes.
- Top Hashtags
This chart shows what hashtags the owner of the account usually uses. If the most frequently used tags are #likeme #liketime and so on, then you can conclude that most of them were attracted in an unnatural way.
To cut a long story short, trendHERO is that very tool that will help you run fake followers audit. You don’t need to connect your Instagram account to start an Instagram fake followers check. Just enter the Instagram username of the account you want to check and the service will collect and provide you all the data.
5 Reasons anyone should not buy fake followers on Instagram
In general, there is nothing good about clogging your Instagram account with fakes and bots. However, let’s pay special attention to the main reasons why you shouldn’t buy fakes and the consequences of this wicked game.
- Buying fakes is a waste of time, money, energy
In the very beginning, artificial activity from fakes will delight you. Nevertheless, you will understand very soon that there is no benefit from them. They can’t become your clients, they will not buy a product or order a service, they will not even be able to write a relevant comment. What do you buy them for?
- This is a violation of Instagram Policy
It is written in black and white that Instagram is against any dishonest actions that violate the platform policy. Buying fakes is one of those dishonest actions. As soon as Instagram suspects you of doing that, you risk getting your account blocked or even deleted forever.
- Fakes and bots scare advertisers away
As far as you could understand, it’s quite easy to distinguish a conscientious Instagram user from an unscrupulous one. If you strive for getting paid for advertising posts, you will never succeed if you start or continue to buy fakes. Marketers are not interested in wasting their budgets, therefore, they actively run a fake Instagram followers audit.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPI) will be distorted
Fakes not only kill the engagement rate but also distort other indicators. How is it possible to objectively assess the success of your account if most actions are performed by bots? You will hardly manage to understand whether real people are interested in your content or not. Moreover, you will have difficulty recognizing your target audience in this mess. It’s almost impossible to clear up how well people react to your brand if a high percentage of those people aren’t real.
- Well, it’s embarrassing
The truth will out one day. Then you will feel ashamed in front of advertisers, friends, other followers, yourself for cheating. There is no need to embark on a slippery path if there are so many cool ways to promote your Instagram account.
Fakes are real enemies of Instagram that negatively affect all the performance indicators and overall account’s success. Nevertheless, bots and fakes are still in demand. All you can and should do is to check Instagram accounts of bloggers, influencers for fake followers before making a deal with them. Our ultimate guide will assist you in doing it in the right way.